Cyclophosphamide: Uses, Side Effects

Cyclophosphamide is a cancer medication that interferes with the growth and spread of cancer cells in the body.

Cyclophosphamide is used to treat several types of cancer. Cyclophosphamide is also used to treat certain cases of nephrotic syndrome (kidney disease) in children.

Cyclophosphamide may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.


Before taking this medicine

You should not use cyclophosphamide if you are allergic to it, or if you have severe bone marrow suppression.

To make sure cyclophosphamide is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have:

  • an active or recent infection;
  • a weak immune system (caused by disease or by using certain medicines);
  • heart disease;
  • kidney disease;
  • liver disease;
  • if you are receiving other cancer treatments; or
  • if you have ever received radiation treatment.

Using cyclophosphamide may increase your risk of developing other types of cancer, such as bladder cancer. Talk with your doctor about your specific risk.

Do not use cyclophosphamide if you are pregnant. It could harm the unborn baby. Use effective birth control, and tell your doctor if you become pregnant during treatment.

This medication may affect fertility (your ability to have children), whether you are a man or a woman.

Cyclophosphamide can pass into breast milk and may harm a nursing baby. You should not breast-feed while you are using this medication.


Side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Call your doctor at once if you have:

  • blood in your urine or stools, pain or burning when you urinate;
  • pale skin, feeling light-headed, rapid heart rate, trouble concentrating;
  • sudden chest pain or discomfort, wheezing, dry cough or hack, feeling short of breath on exertion;
  • fever, chills, body aches, flu symptoms, sores in your mouth and throat;
  • easy bruising, unusual bleeding (nose, mouth, vagina, or rectum), purple or red pinpoint spots under your skin;
  • extreme thirst with headache, vomiting, and weakness;
  • jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes); or
  • severe skin reaction — fever, sore throat, swelling in your face or tongue, burning in your eyes, skin pain, followed by a red or purple skin rash that spreads (especially in the face or upper body) and causes blistering and peeling.

Common side effects may include:

  • nausea, loss of appetite, stomach pain or upset, diarrhea;
  • temporary hair loss;
  • a wound that will not heal;
  • missed menstrual periods;
  • changes in skin color; or
  • changes in nails.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects.


What other drugs will affect cyclophosphamide?

Tell your doctor about all medications you use, and those you start or stop using during your treatment with cyclophosphamide, especially:

  • phenobarbital (Solfoton); or
  • drugs that weaken the immune system such as medicines to treat psoriasis, rheumatoid arthritis, or other autoimmune disorders.

This list is not complete. Other drugs may interact with cyclophosphamide, including prescription, over-the-counter, vitamin, and herbal products. Not all possible interactions are listed in this medication guide.


Keyword: cyclophosphamide.

* The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.